Geolocation Data Tool (SIRC 2018-05)

NSIRA Recommendation: NSIRA recommends that CSIS review its use of [the geolocation tool] to date and make a determination as to which of the operational reports generated through the use of [the geolocation tool] were in breach of section 8 of the Charter. These operational reports and/or any documents related to those results should be purged from its systems.

CSIS Response: CSIS has received advice from the Department of Justice on its use of a geolocation data tool in Canada and the disposition of information derived from its use. CSIS is working to implement this advice to ensure compliance with the Charter, CSIS Act and other legal obligations.

More broadly, CSIS recognizes that keeping pace with the global threat environment and rapid technological change necessitates continuous reflection to ensure that we have the tools, authorities required of a modern intelligence agency; CSIS must be fully equipped to protect Canada’s national security. Canadians expect CSIS to leverage technology to keep them safe in a manner that is entirely in keeping with the Canadian expectation of privacy.

NSIRA Recommendation: NSIRA recommends that policy be developed or amended as appropriate that would require a documented risk assessment, including legal risks, in situations like [the geolocation tool] when information collected through new and emerging technologies may contain information in respect of which there may be a reasonable expectation of privacy. If not, NSIRA further recommends that a policy centre for this type of collection be clearly identified.

CSIS Response: CSIS is modifying its policy framework to address this recommendation. This aligns with the most recent Ministerial Direction on Accountability from September 2019. The MD requires CSIS to notify the Minister of Public Safety when a novel technology is used.

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